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New Moon

Wed, 20 Sep 2017 at01:31 EDT(64 days ago)
05:31 UTC

Dominic Ford, Editor
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Ashburn
The sky at

The Moon will pass close to the Sun and become lost in the Sun's glare for a few days.

The Moon's orbital motion carries it around the Earth once every four weeks, and as a result its phases cycle from new moon, through first quarter, full moon and last quarter, back to new moon once every 29.5 days.

This motion also means that the Moon travels more than 12° across the sky from one night to the next, causing it to rise and set nearly an hour later each day. Click here for more information about the Moon's phases.

At new moon, the Earth, Moon and Sun all lie in a roughly straight line, with the Moon in the middle, appearing in front of the Sun's glare. In this configuration, we see almost exactly the opposite half of the Moon to that which is illuminated by the Sun, making it doubly unobservable because the side we see is unilluminated.

Over coming days, the Moon will rise and set an hour later each day, becoming visible in the late afternoon and dusk sky as a waxing crescent which sets soon after the Sun. By first quarter, in a week's time, it will be visible until around midnight.

Its day-by-day progress is charted below, with all times are given below in Ashburn local time.

Date Sun
sets at
Moon
sets at
Altitude of Moon
at sunset
Direction of Moon
at sunset
20 Sep 201719:0719:39west
21 Sep 201719:0520:10west
22 Sep 201719:0320:4215°west
23 Sep 201719:0221:1520°south-west
24 Sep 201719:0021:5024°south-west
25 Sep 201718:5922:2628°south-west
26 Sep 201718:5723:0730°south

At the moment of closest approach, it will pass within 2°52'of the Sun, in the constellation Virgo. The exact positions of the Sun and Moon will be:

Object Right Ascension Declination Constellation Angular Size
The Moon 11h54m20s +03°44' Virgo 31'12"
Sun (centre) 11h49m +01°06' Virgo 31'51"

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0.

The sky on 20 September 2017
Sunrise 06:54
Sunset 19:09
Twilight ends
20:39
Twilight begins
05:25

30-day old moon
Age of Moon
30 days

All times shown in EDT.
Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 05:41 12:11 18:41
Venus 04:39 11:22 18:06
Moon 07:20 13:29 19:39
Mars 05:23 11:56 18:29
Jupiter 09:13 14:47 20:20
Saturn 13:46 18:33 23:19

Warning

Never attempt to point a pair of binoculars or a telescope at an object close to the Sun. Doing so may result in immediate and permanent blindness.

Source

The circumstances of this event were computed using the DE405 planetary ephemeris published by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL).

This event was automatically generated by searching the ephemeris for planetary alignments which are of interest to amateur astronomers, and the text above was generated based on an estimate of your location.

Related news

20 Sep 2017, 01:31 EDT  –  New Moon
27 Sep 2017, 22:55 EDT  –  Moon at First Quarter
05 Oct 2017, 14:41 EDT  –  Full Moon
12 Oct 2017, 08:27 EDT  –  Moon at Last Quarter

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Ashburn

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77.49°W
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